Dr. Todd E. Davenport, DPT, OCS
Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
For the second consecutive year, the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Department of Physical Therapy has been awarded a Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit grant to support the "Healthy Children" community partnership with the San Joaquin County Office of Education. As part of this partnership, second year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students provide educational programming for afterschool programs run by the San Joaquin County Office of Education. This programming emphasizes the rationale and specific strategies for healthful physical activity, nutrition, and school ergonomics. The target population involves children at risk for obesity and obesity-related health conditions, because of the high proportion of children receiving subsidized or free school lunches in this cohort. By targeting at-risk children in our area, we hope to mitigate the effects of childhood and adult obesity both in the short-term, as well as in generations to come.
Last year, our Healthy Children program provided services for 2,400 at-risk young people in our area. We hope to reach 2,000 more children this year through more school visits. We also will increase the reach of the Healthy Children program this year by including first year DPT students' participation in the Pacific Family Health Fair. The health fair will provide hands-on seminars and services for families, ranging from how to incorporate exercise into family activities, screening children and their adult family members for orthopedic spine and leg issues, and ensuring that children can use their backpacks in a way that prevents injury but promotes homework. Through this experience, our DPT students will learn about how to incorporate their knowledge of the basic science and clinical application of exercise to promote community wellness. We are also very enthusiastic that our students will work with their future professional colleagues in pharmacy and speech and language pathology in this event, so they can experience community wellness efforts from a multi-disciplinary perspective.